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Report of Gabriel Myers Workgroup. Gabriel Myers. The Case of Gabriel Myers. On April 16, 2009, seven year old Gabriel Myers apparently hanged himself in the residence of his foster parents.

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the case of gabriel myers
The Case of Gabriel Myers
  • On April 16, 2009, seven year old Gabriel Myers apparently hanged himself in the residence of his foster parents.
  • Gabriel had been adjudicated dependent on September 2, 2008, following the arrest of his mother and the filing of the abuse report that brought him into care on June 29, 2008.
  • During the subsequent ten months, Gabriel was initially sheltered in a licensed foster home, placed with relatives, and lived at two different foster homes.
  • Gabriel demonstrated a number of incidents of destructive behavior and conduct problems and was treated with counseling and several psychotropic medications.
  • In February and March, 2009, Gabriel experienced a number of significant events in life, including changes in foster homes, psychotherapists and after-school programs, loss of privileges at home, and loss of visitation arrangements with his mother.
  • One psychotherapist documented that “it is clear that this child is overwhelmed with change and possibly re-experiencing trauma.”
charge to the work group
Charge to the Work Group
  • The specific case of Gabriel Myers;
  • The use of psychotropic drugs to treat children in foster care; and
  • Child-on-child sexual abuse
members of the workgroup
Members of the Workgroup
  • Dr. James D Sewell, Assistant Commissioner (Retired), Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Chair
  • Bill Janes, Assistant Secretary Department of Children and Families
  • Robin Rosenberg, Deputy Executive Director, Florida’s Children First
  • Dr. Rajiv Tandon, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine
  • Dr. Anne Wells, Chief, Medicaid Pharmacy Services, Agency for Health Care Administration
designated advisors to the workgroup
Designated Advisors to the Workgroup
  • Betty Busbee, former Chair, Florida Statewide Advocacy Council
  • Theresa A. Flury, Executive Director, Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office
  • Judge John Frusciante, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
  • Dr. Mike Haney, Director, Prevention and Intervention, Children’s Medical Services, Department of Health
findings and recommendations of the gabriel myers work group
Findings and Recommendations of the Gabriel Myers Work Group
  • 147 Total Findings and 90 Recommendations fall into one of ten areas:
    • The Case of Gabriel Myers
    • The Use of Psychotropic Medications to Treat Children in Foster Care
    • Comprehensive Behavioral Health Assessments
    • Information Contained in the Florida Safe Families Network
    • Informed Consent and Judicial Review
findings and recommendations of the gabriel myers work group continued
Findings and Recommendations of the Gabriel Myers Work Group Continued…
  • Information Sharing
  • Behavioral Health Care
  • Individual and Agency Accountability
  • Implementation of the Red Item Report on Psychotropic Drug Use in Foster Care
  • Ensuring Best Practices
consistent themes in the work group recommendations
Consistent Themes in the Work Group Recommendations
  • Recognition that medication must be part of a comprehensive treatment plan and that treatment alternatives must be explored first
  • Need for a statement of principles to guide the child welfare system and its participants
  • Need for review of some State statutes
  • Need for clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all involved in the child welfare system, including foster parents
  • Need for reliance on evidence-based practices and on-going quality assurance
  • Need for enhanced funding for behavioral supports for children in State care
  • Need for enhanced collaboration, coordination, and information-sharing
  • Need for enhanced training of all those involved in the system
  • Need for enhanced accountability at all levels
for more information
For More Information